Windham to Hillsdale

Tim kept you up to date with our progress so I’ll fill in a bit and call it a day. Here’s Tim’s method of transporting the trailer wheel from the bike shop back to the Thompson House, riding the tandem solo. Who needs a stoker?

 

WhileTim was cleaning and doing bike repairs this morning, I was cleaning the luggage. The ghost hand helped clear away the last of the road grit.

Hyalophora cecropia – thanks Tom (and others) for the information. Here is one of the pictures I took as Tim patiently waited on the trike (and sent you the picture he took).

 

Two opposable thumbs (and the rest of the fingers) at work replacing the tire and the tube after we were “screwed.”

My hand hanging on as Tim stands (right under the no standing or stopping sign) to take a picture from the bridge over the Hudson.

I decided on the second day that I would stop trying to take pictures from the back of the moving tandem with my iPhone. I don’t have any kind of strap to keep it attached in case I drop it. I figured I could make up for it when we we were stopped. But these trucks called to me on Route 23. I asked for a slow down so I could take a quick snap of these beauties.

 

 

The GPS told us to leave Route 23 and take Route 82 south, followed by a few other turns until we rejoined 23 in Hollowville. We have never tried this before, and it was a wonderful detour. Quiet, scenic, not too hilly. A real treat we hope to repeat again in the future.

We rejoined Route 23 in time to spy a favorite shop along the road and arrived in Hillsdale just at suppertime. Pizza restored the energy – at least enough to get us to the Holiday House Motel across the street from the Four Brothers Pizza Inn. Early to bed – at least for Tim, while I finish up my contribution for the day.

Thanks again for your encouragement, weather reports, extra information, and comments. We look forward to hearing from you.

Tomorrow on to Norfolk, Connecticut. The trip continues.

 

Hi-ho, Hillsdale!

Suzy enjoys rhubarb for breakfast at the Thompson House.

Today we head for Hillsdale. A few miles from here, the Catskill Mountains end in a glorious, 20-mile descent to the Hudson River. A significant geological boundary, and a significant source of fun. We cross the Hudson on the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, then the section of New York that lies between the Hudson and Massachusets. Hillsdale is the last town in NY on Route 23.

The sun is out. The rain nasties have gone away. All our clothes are dry again. My legs are grateful for a day off. Everything is shipshape and going our way.

A Room With a View

This is what I see from our porch at the Thompson House, if I tilt my head extremely to the right.

We took the wheel from our trailer to Windham Mountain Outfitters to have the bearings serviced. On the way the main chain broke, again. I got to use my new chain breaking tool, which was way fun.

Otherwise, my legs were engaged in resting. They did this intensely most of the day.

 

 

A couple of people who moved from the North East to drier climes have commented on the amount of green in the outdoor pictures. We have a lot of water up here. In fact, we have such an abundance that it spontaneously falls from the sky. Sometimes we even have too much, and houses and towns get washed away. It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that God loves the North East more than he loves the rest of the country. Probably because we have fewer mega-churches.

June 9: Oneonta to Windham

Back to Denny’s for breakfast. This is Tim at Denny’s the night before. Same place, different time.

We packed, wrapped everything in plastic bags (especially our iPhones), and started east on Route 23 in the rain.

 

We rode up hills and down hills—in the rain. Trucks and cars sprayed their wake on us and we sprayed our own wake on ourselves. I noticed all sorts of potential pictures:

My favorite white car stuck up in the air coming out of Oneonta

A set of two silos with a grand entrance (stairs and large side railings) between them. I thought of my friend Sophia and her study of silos

Glorious piles of rocks, of gravel, of tree stumps. I thought of our friend Ed and his study

Wrecked rusty cars and trucks. I thought of my friend Mary and what fine images she might make

Buildings sliding back into the earth and I thought of my friend Jerry and how he would record them

The list of potential photographs could go on and on. . . but I regret to say, I didn’t take any of them. My phone was in my pocket wrapped in a plastic bag.

This is the only picture I took. I saw the slug during a trip to the “necessary” (I think that’s what Bethia called it in Caleb’s Crossing). It was a wonderful day for a slug. He seemed quite happy. Later alongside the road I saw a large group of yellow snails, many with brown stripes. I don’t think I have ever seen snails like this. But we didn’t stop, so I didn’t get a photograph.

We stopped for a second breakfast in Stamford and thankfully there was no air-conditioning in the cafe. Here Tim is drying off with the travel towel our friend Jane gave us. It’s a wonderful comfort when every inch of you is wet and you are looking for relief.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tim lent me his Block Island sweatshirt for our visit to the warm indoors. Good rest. When it was time to go, we put all our wet clothes back on again and resumed our trip. I think gortex raincoats start out as raincoats and end up as wetsuits. Somehow they do help you stay warm, but not particularly dry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Later in the afternoon the rain stopped. One thought I had about why we do this—why we keep riding when it’s raining (beyond sticking to a schedule) is that it feels so good when the rain stops. It was a good ride. We covered 50 miles and arrived at the Thompson House in Windham for a welcome break. Tomorrow we’re not going anywhere.

 

 

 

 

The view our our back window.

 

I am almost finished with Caleb’s Crossing and tomorrow will resume my reading of an Italian mystery series by Andrea Camilleri. Thanks to my friend Poppy I have a new series to work my way through.

 

Windham to Hillsdale: 49 miles and then on to Norfolk, CT 25 miles

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After hearing wonderful tales of bears in the Catskills from Joanne, and some of the history of The Thompson House from the owners, Eric and Deborah Goettsche, we set out on our on our way to our next destination in Hillsdale, NY.

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Or almost set out. It appears that I lost the chip with all the road maps when I changed the batteries in the GPS. We make a search in all the possible places, but no luck. All is not lost though. We still have the route marked on the topographical maps. The colored road maps will have to be downloaded to another chip – another time.

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More signs? I’m trying to cut down, but to understand this sign, you have to remember what is on one side, and mentally add it to what you see on the other. A good excercise.

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We briefly pull into the driveway of Point Lookout – where we have stayed several times in the past. Tim is looking for the perfect view, but doesn’t see what he wants.

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So we start the big descent. Notice our moving average (mostly climbing so far this morning). Also notice the altitude.

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But before we get going too fast, we see a spot for “the photo.” I’m OK with Tim’s crossing the road for a better view, but not too happy when he tries crossing the fence as well. He thinks again and cancels this idea.

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Not to be outdone with stupid moves to get “the picture,” I attempt a one-handed shot at the GPS as we fly down the hill. You can see my other hand holding on to the handlebar. Note what it looks like at the bottom of the hill.

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Now it’s back to work. We seem to miss many green lights, but one red light gives me a chance to photograph a motorcycle rider who isn’t zipping by. The hard work at the bottom of the hill is making our way along the shoulder. It’s not NY States finest, by any means.

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We have a welcome break when Claude Haton from The Daily Mail stops us for a photograph and a brief interview. He remembers that he talked to us several years ago along the same stretch of road – one year when we rode back home from Block Island as well.

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Instead of a view from the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, here is a closer view of what you might see if you take the time to walk (or ride a tricycle) across on the sidewalk. It says no bicycles, but I decide they don’t mean us – we have three wheels.

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Another castle. This time a life-sized castle above the Hudson.

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Years ago a UPS driver stopped us to tell us how we could avoid two large hills by taking side roads that later rejoined Rt 23. They provide a welcome chance to avoid the cars, the dust, and the noise.

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This car is too special to pass by without a photograph. I have no idea what it is.

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A quick stop by The Purple Barn. I always look forward to seeing what (or who) is going to be on display.

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We arrive in Hillside to spend the night – in a motel, not along the road where there will be a large music festival next month.

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The next day we have to climb our way past a ski mountain before we get a chance to have breakfast.

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Since Tim already sent a scene from the breakfast porch, I’ll show you the cool car that was parked out front and also how Tim cleans up for breakfast. He’s using a travel towel – a gift from my friend Jane. We use it for laundry, for us – for anything except the bike. it’s a great help as we try to keep ourselves and our clothing dry.

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As I take the photograph, the owner is coming out with a FREE sign. I hope they find a good home.

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As the day passes it gets, hotter and more humid. Tim considers buying the motorcycle. Think of the breeze!

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But we keep on pedaling. And just as we turn into what we think will be our very last hill of the day, we realize why we are making such slow progress. There is a huge leak in the back tire! But we are so close (or so we think). Tim pumps up the tire with the hopes it will get us to our destination.
Tim has promised to tell you what happens next. So I’ll leave it to him to write about it in the morning. I too am tired, and it is time for bed!

Stamford to Windham – 25 miles

Another day that starts with clouds and ends with sunshine. After a wonderful breakfast and visit with Jean and Jim Kopp, the owners, restorers, and operators of the wonderful Stamford Gables Inn, (Did you notice how many links to this B&B we’ve provided? It’s well worth a visit!),

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Tim posts one final Stamford entry, and we’re off again – east on NYS Route 23, headed for Windham, NY. Each day I tell myself that I will take fewer pictures. . . that surely there won’t be anything particularly new or interesting to see. I’ve probably covered most subjects already. But you would be a amazed to see what wonders can be seen along the road from the viewpoint of a stoker on a recumbent tandem tricycle. Ours, by the way, is ten years old this summer. Thanks Dan Kavanagh for your wonderful workmanship on our Organic Engines Troika!

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I wish Ed, my classmate from photography at TC3, were here to see this glorious pile of gravel. He could add it to his collection.

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Aren’t you more interested in a business when it includes more than just a sign?

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I rarely ask Tim to stop so I can take a photograph. Almost all of my pictures are taken from the back of the moving tandem. But every once in a while (if we aren’t speeding down a hill, or in a difficult place), I ask for a stop so I can go back and take a photograph I missed. When we pass the Fire Station in Prattsville, I asked for a halt. When Tim asks me what the sign means, I say, “I have no idea. That’s why I wanted the picture.”

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So far on this trip, I’ve seen more horses than cows. I have been looking for the perfect horse picture to include in our story. But there is always some sort of problem. A fence in the way, the horse is eating, or I don’t get the whole horse. You’ll have to put these together in your mind to see what I’m after.

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We have developed the habit of stopping for 10:00 post-breakfast, pre-lunch, ice cream cones. There are benefits to spending a few hours each day on a bicycle! This morning we pass the establishment noted with the first sign (too early, I guess) but stop at the second one – noted by the ice cream cone and the arrows. But when we go to the take-out window, the third sign is what we see. But it’s ice cream time, so we go inside to see what’s available. Chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and rainbow sherbet. Not the biggest selection so far on this trip, but we each have a cone anyway.

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I am fascinated by this photograph on the wall. The owner says it is his mother, taken in the Bronx, in 1940. He takes it down so I can study it more closely and says I can take a picture. I find it hard to tear myself away, but it’s time to move on.

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Tim has gotten over the feeling that to be on a true cycling tour, we need to cover more miles each day. My difficulty in documenting this trip, is the lack of castle and cathedral photographs in my collection. Everybody else seems to include them. But wait, here’s my chance! In case the opportunity doesn’t arise again, I’ll include two photos of the same castle – from different angles.

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Instead I can include photographs of construction equipment – some so large I can’t get the whole machine in one photograph, and some so small (and I think cute) that I think we might put in on our trailer and take it home.

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And cars and trucks along the road – more like sculptures really. They don’t appear to be in use anymore.

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But once again, I am surprised. You never know what you might see along NYS Route 23 at an average speed of 10mph.

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When we enter Prattsville I get to study the extra wires that festoon the bridge. Why are they there? Lightning protection? Christmas lights?

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As we ride out of Prattsville, we see the famous picnic area on the left and I have an opportunity for an art shot on the right. I too, can be a sucker for waterfalls – or at least for rapids.

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A reminder of our speed – it varies.

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An inspiration for all of us. Just substitute your county for this one.

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By lunchtime we are already in Windham. One problem with short trips is that you get to your destination too early to check in. We stop at Messina’s Italian Restaurant for a wonderful lunch. It’s one of the few restaurants we visit where Tim does NOT say, “I could make this better.” But we are the only people in the restaurant. I hope more come later. Other places we pass are crowded. The people don’t know what they are missing!

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Too early, but welcomed just the same, we arrive at The Thompson House for a wonderful two-night stay and day of rest.

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Breakfast and lunch are included with our stay. And I get to spend a whole day learning how Norman Rockwell uses “each line, tone, color. . .each person, facial expression, gesture. . . for one supreme purpose—to tell a story.”